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without a lot of trauma drawn on and on time. the debt ceiling issue approaching as later this summer we have an opportunity. the house is going to move now and put its priorities in place in the senate what do they agree or not we are going to move now and early to reassure people america will pay its debt but to reassure investors and those watching we are serious about tackling our problems. >> host: has sequestration affected your district? >> guest: it hasn't and in fact we talked in our town hall meetings we do a lot of them, people just sort of kind of laughed when we talk about a 500 lb government being forced to lose 10 pounds. people know it's just a small step. they are upset that it looks like the white house is choosing to inflect political pain on the community such as closing local air-traffic towers but for the most part, they think it is a small but important step in the right direction. >> host: was it a political victory for republicans? >> guest: i think it helped reassure americans that we were serious about making some small but important steps in the right directio
that was demanded by the republicans in the house for the increase in the debt ceiling. at the end of the day, we got 2-1/2 trillion in spending restraints. the caps and the sequester, have been repeated efforts by democrats in the senate and the white house to try and undo that agreement of august 2011, but it's held. the sequester is holding. despite the historianics of not having easter egg hunts or not letting kids go through the white house, not letting the blue angels fly. they do that and looks silly, the boy who cried wolf. and at the end of the day we taxpayers won the fight, and those who believed in d.c., you had to raise taxes, in order to get any spending restraint, were wrong. we got suspending restraint without the tax increases. obama -- president obama is again saying'll never let you cut the budget unless you give me more tax increases. he said that the last three years and has lost several times on that fight. so does he want to have spending retrain or spitelement reform? -- restraint or entitlement reform? i don't think so. just look backwards. his first two years a democrati
to unfold and as the debt ceiling once again approaches. indeed, it was made all the more worrisome by the house republican hearing yesterday that focus on the debt ceiling in terms of the possibility of prioritizing our obligations, obligations all emanating from congressional actions. we cannot continue on this dangerous path. hopefully this hearing will serve a constructive opportunity to embrace a different path. i yield back. >> thank you very much, mr. levitt. again, it's my pleasure to welcome secretary jack lew back to the committee on ways and means. we look forward to your testimony. the committee has received your written statement. it will be made a part of the formal record. secretary lew, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member levin, for your gracious welcome here today. it's an honor to appear and to visit the president's budget for next year. and i sit here as the chairman noted, surrounded by four decades of memories of many important occasions. when bipartisan cooperation has moved the country for
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